Any knucklehead can cast a small spinner into an Opening Day pool of freshly-stocked trout and catch a few fish. But if you want to catch trout more consistently — and not to mention some trophy fish—then it’s time you got serious with your bait selection.
Check out our round up of the 20 best trout lures of all time.
Designed to imitate a crawfish scooting across the bottom, this 2-inch-long crankbait reaches 5-7 feet. Formed with a tucked-under tail by the bill and bulging claws facing the aft treble, the Wee Craw (and its Teeny version) give the appearance of a fleeing crustacean.
When the fish need a finesse presentation, Berkley’s buoyant worm does the trick. Packed with the all-natural Gulp! scent attractant, the Trout Worm suspends off the bottom when fitted with a light wire hook. A good choice for float rigs, three-way rigs, or scaled-down dropshots.
Trout like this grub’s soft-plastic body with its slick, life-like appearance and tantalizing marabou tail enhances the display. This, along with a two-color painted eye on the jig head prompts aggressive strikes and entices the fish to eat the whole bait, then hold on longer for greater hook sets.
A good choice for larger trout, the Rogue offers lots of flash and erratic action, along with the ability to sit motionless—a common strike-triggering tactic. The bait’s nearly neutral buoyancy enables it to hold its position when paused and then dart away with the next twitch. Equipped with internal noisemakers, this Rogue is a good choice for cold or clear water.
The sinking version of the original Rebel Minnow, the Tracdown enables you to reach trout holding lower in the water column. Made for moving water, the bait’s straight tracking facilitates targeted presentations.
At 1 ¼ inches and 1/8 ounce, this little crank offers a bite-size morsel for feeding trout. Fished on light line, the enticing action and reflective eye makes this little crankbait appealing to fish, while ease of use makes it a good choice for kids and beginners.
With a narrow profile and compact design, the Hus Lure casts like a bullet and cuts through surface current to reach big-fish depths. An erratic minnow-like action produces strikes with minimal angler-imparted action. Swift currents will “work” the Hus Lure for you, but in lighter flows, slight rod twitches snap the bait forward so it can flutter back into the current.
A consistent sink rate of one foot per second allows for precise targeting of specific depths whether the fish are suspended, at the weed tops or holding on bottom structure. Trolled or cast, this weighted balsa lure swims with a slow-rolling Rapala action. Sized well for stream trout, the inch-long, 1/16-ounce CD01 runs 1-3 feet and sports a single No. 12 treble.
With a 60° shallow depth blade, this detailed spinner runs from the surface to two feet, so it’s a good choice for shallow scenarios. The die cast and chrome plated body has a laser holographic painted finish and emits sonic vibration when the interior section strikes the outer bell. The treble hook is dressed with calf tail and tinsel for visual appeal and enhanced profile.
The soft plastic minnow’s erratic swimming motion and hand-painted finish imitate an injured baitfish, while the flash and vibration of a Mepps spinner call attention to the presentation.
Genuine silver plating and a reverse curve design yields intense flashing from this sturdy little spoon. Balanced for consistent side-to-side wobbling over a range of retrieval speeds, the spoon maintains its action when paused for an active fall. Ideal for 2- to 4-pound line and ultralight spinning tackle, the Little Wolf casts easily so it’s a great way to introduce kids and novices to the sport.
Sized and shaped to resemble a juvenile crawfish, the Mr. Twister Micro presents an irresistible meal for trout foraging over stream rocks. Rig this soft bait on a 1/64-ounce jighead and slowly scoot it over the bottom like a real crustacean.
13. Mr. Twister Twister Mite
Crafted to resemble a hellgrammite, this soft plastic bait performs well on a light Mister Twister jig head, a drop shot or a Carolina rig. Work the Twister Mite in an around structure to temp hungry trout.
Rigged with a light jig head inserted into the body (line tie pushed through), a tube does a good job of mimicking a fleeing crawfish or baitfish feeding along the bottom. Match bait length—1.5-, 2.75-, or 3.5-inch—to fish size and vary colors from standard solids to the ultra realistic finishes of BioBait’s DNA series.
Presenting a look similar to the real deal, the artificial option saves a lot of muss and fuss. Powerbait egg clusters are authentically soft and boast greater durability for a longer usable life. Available in fluorescent orange or shrimp colors, Berkley’s proprietary PowerBait formula enhances the clusters with natural scent and flavor for a more convincing ruse.
Z-Man Fishing Products
Flash and vibration; the two things that immediately attract attention aren’t just for the bass world. The compact profile and holographic soft plastic minnow body help fish home in on this proven design. Made in 1/16-, 1/8- and 3/16-ounce sizes, this is a good search bait.
A good alternative to in-line spinners when you want a more significant profile and thump for low visibility scenarios, this compact spinnerbait features a narrow head that punches through swift current and allows the bait to track true. Available in 1/4-, 3/8- and 1/2-ounce sizes, the Rocket Shad sports a Colorado blade that spins freely on a ball bearing swivel for maximum display.
Whether it’s cast to trout in moving water, or trolled behind downriggers or planer boards for lakers, this articulated or “broken-back” bait can be fished high or low in the water column. The exaggerated action mimics the movement of a distressed baitfish, while the balsa construction gives it maximum buoyancy. Fish it fast for the ones that are fired up, or retrieve it slow for the post-frontal glum.
Highly effective for casting or trolling, this venerable trout taker comes in 1/32- to 1/2-ounce sizes for a variety of casting and trolling applications. The convex/concave blade creates serious sonic vibrations, while the shaft through blade design facilitates smooth spinning action. For added visual appeal, the Teardrop Spinner is available with a red hook and dressed treble options. Also available in single-hook models to comply with regulations or facilitate catch and release.
One of the most user-friendly, yet endearingly productive, artificial baits, Trout Nuggets are fortified with flavor bits that keep fish holding on long enough for a hook set. Available in chartreuse, cheese, orange pulp and rainbow colors, the pre-formed floating nuggets keep your bait in the strike zone, whether free-lined or fished beneath a bobber.